Re: Personal Quality Standards

Subject: Re: Personal Quality Standards
From: Brent Jones <bjones -at- IGS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 14:15:00 PDT

Shore, but the *specific* context of this discussion involves the original
poster making a bad initial decision (not setting a high enough fee, not
ensuring that the full scope of the project was clear, etc.) and then
wondering if she should do a good job (according to her personal standards)
or just let it slide because she didn't initially negotiate well. The
original poster made it quite clear (according to my reading, anyway) that
her dilemma was "do I do a good job according to my standards" or "do I just
do whatever I can quickly in order for the amount of work to be commensurate
with the flat fee I mistakenly agreed to." And, given that, I stand by my

I'm not sure of the point of your 2nd paragraph below, besides taking a
swipe at me for daring to imply that doing a good job according to your own
lights is important, and making a rather bizarre analogy about your wife's
weight, the state of your children's footwear, and doing a good job on a

As to the 3rd paragraph, I'm not sure that honoring a professional
commitment and having a good quality of life are mutually exclusive.
Mutually enhancing, rather. I guess your mileage may vary.

Upshot: An agreement was made by the writer to update a certain document. A
price that both parties felt was fair was agreed upon. The writer later
realized that it would be more work than she thought, and that unless she
did what she herself would consider to be a substandard job the initial fee
would not be worth it.

And I say that a lesson was learned about the scoping of projects and the
dangers of a flat fee. Doing a substandard job is the convenient choice, but
morally and professionally inferior, IMO.

What about the converse? Let's say the job turned out to be ridiculously
easy and only took about 1/3 of the effort originally estimated. Would the
writer refund a big chunk of the flat fee? I suspect not. Live by the sword,
die by the sword, stand by your personal standards and agreements, good or

bjones -at- igs -dot- com


Who's standards. Perhaps they are being writen to someone's standards. It
just happens to be the standards of the person with the money.

How lucky you are to always write according to your standards, which I'm
are the highest possible. Maybe my standards are to have my wife weigh more

than 80 pounds through the luxury of eating a couple of time per day, my
standards are to allow my kids to go to school with two shoes on without
toes sticking out, and to drive an automobile that is less than 30 years

Which standards are more and quality of life...or a
that I could have gotten paid on if only I hadn't felt so strongly about
my right margins justified, and because the customer wanted ragged right
margins, I told him to shove it. After all, ragged right margins are
my personal standards.

John Posada

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